Regional Anglican Celebrations

Chris Sugden   Evangelicals Now September 2012

The last 12 months has seen a significant development in the Anglican Communion.  National Anglican Churches (Provinces is the technical term) have begun to hold significant large gatherings of all Anglicans in their area along with international guests from other parts of the Communion.

This is part of the “celebration” level of church gatherings which can be classed as “cell” – or home groups,  “congregation” – what most of us experience on Sundays and “celebration” – everyone getting together in an area or region. Churches in Oxford have done this for the last seven years with “Love Oxford” when many churches shut their doors on one Sunday and all meet together in a central outdoor location.  English dioceses have occasionally done this by taking over a football stadium.  Gatherings such as Word Alive, Bible by the Beach, Spring Harvest, New Wine and Keswick are also such celebrations.

The Church of Nigeria under its new Archbishop Nicholas Okoh led the way in November 2011 with a celebration in the National Christian Centre, a national cathedral in Nigeria’s capital Abuja for all Christian denominations built on the other side of an inner ring road from the national Mosque.  The “cathedral” holds 5000 people and was filled for a week in November 2011 for the Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican). Morning plenary addresses were followed by seminars and workshops in all parts of the building and an evening celebration.  The conference issued a communiqué which among other matters took the British Prime Minister to task for tying western aid to the imposition of western ideas on human rights and sexuality.

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